There are certain settings that require special lighting setups. Workshops are one of those places. They need bright lighting for performing precision tasks. Tasks which are also often potentially dangerous.

But, they also need a hardy, durable light that’s resistant to breaking. And, in especially extreme circumstances, they’ll need a light that is explosion-proof or vapor tight. 

Despite all of these complicated needs, shop lights are a very simple, yet effective, lighting solution. Shop lights are most commonly found in garages in workshops, hence the name shop lights, but are not limited to those facilities.

Chances are that if you currently have shop lights, they’re probably fluorescent fixtures. Fluorescents were once known for being an energy-efficient lighting choice with a long lifespan.

And, due to their bright, white light, they’re perfect for precision tasks. However, in today’s world, that’s no longer the case. With LED technology becoming more and more prevalent, fluorescent lighting is headed towards extinction.

These days, LEDs are the go-to for any and all commercial and industrial lighting applications, including Shop Lights. But why are LED Shop lights such a popular choice? And what do you need to know about them before you buy?

We’ve put together a comprehensive guide to LED shop lights, so that you can make an informed decision that benefits you, your business, and your employees.

LED Shop Lights

4 ft Shop Lights

led ufo

8 ft Shop Lights

led linear high bay fixture for warehouses


40 Watt LED

led ufo

100 Watt LED

10000 Lumens LED


How LED Shop Lights Are The Better Option?

To make a long story short, because LED shop lights outshine every other type of bulb across all categories. Not only do advancements in technology allow them to provide a better, brighter light, but they also save you money while they’re at it. 

And, in fact, the most obvious and popular reason to replace old fixtures with LED lights is to save money. LEDs were designed to be efficient.

They use minimal energy to produce a much brighter light than more traditional bulb types, and they don’t emit any heat. This helps cut both electrical and cooling costs. 

LED Shop lights also have a much longer lifespan than other types of fixtures, saving money on maintenance costs. You don’t have to worry about the hassle of changing the light and disposing of the old bulbs because LED lights have an average lifespan of 50,000 hours and don’t contain harmful chemicals. 

LEDs offer many more benefits than just saving you money. Shop lights are typically positioned low to the ground in order to provide an adequate shine.

However, this proximity to the floor puts them in a position where they can easily be struck by power tools, stray objects, or other equipment.

When a fluorescent shop light fixture breaks, they send glass and potentially harmful mercury gases everywhere. Luckily, this is not the case if you have LED Shop lights.

LEDs are made from durable plastics, so they’re much less likely to break. And, even if they do break, you won’t have to worry about mercury poisoning or glass shards. You can just sweep it up and toss it in the trash. 

These are just a few of the many benefits that LED lights present over other types of bulbs. But, it’s safe to say that choosing LED shop lights is the bright choice.

Led Shop Light Workshop
woodshed lit with led lighting

 How To Pick The Right LED Shop Lights for shops?

If you’re upgrading from fluorescents, or really any light, LEDs will be a noticeable improvement regardless of which fixture you choose.

But, choosing the right fixture for your specific application can create the ideal workspace. Which will, in turn, help improve employee morale and productivity.

But, choosing the right LED light for your shop may not be as easy as it would seem. There are plenty of things to consider before you make your decision, and we’ll walk you through them all. 

But, even before you start looking at LED shop lights, there are things you should keep in mind about your current lights that will help you make the right choice. Before choosing your lighting, you should consider these things:

    • The mounting height of your fixtures
    • The amount of time the operation your shop lights run
    • Retrofitting older inefficient shop lights with energy-efficient LED shop lights


Best Applications for LED Shop Lights

As we said, shop lights are a simple but effective lighting solution. That is unless your facility requires another type of lighting.

LEDs come in many many different styles, sizes, and capabilities. Each one with its own special purpose. 

Shop lights are the ideal options for providing a bright, focused light in spaces with ceilings under 20 feet. LED shop lights provide a bright light with little glare that illuminates smaller areas.

Think garages, workshops, and more specifically workbench lighting. 

High Pressure Sodium Lights vs LED Lights

How many lumens does your shop need?

Because LEDs can give off a brighter light using less energy, watts are not a good measurement to base your replacement lights off.

Even a fluorescent light, which is the most energy-efficient next to LEDs, uses a considerably larger amount of energy to produce a less powerful shine. For this reason, we recommend paying attention to the lumens you’ll require instead of the watts. 

The best way to do this is to create a photometric lighting plan using your shop space. A lighting plan takes the dimensions of your building, (length, width, and height) and other factors and creates a realistic software representation of the light.

From there, you can add your existing light locations, and then model updates and changes with different LED lighting fixtures. This allows you to see your space and how it would look with new and improved LED Lighting.

It eliminates the risk of purchasing too many or too few lights and lets you map our your ideal lighting setup.

Any switch to LEDs will be a huge improvement over older bulb types, but to really experience the magic of LED lighting, it’s important to create a custom lighting scheme that is designed specifically to suit your facility.

Different Kind of Shop Lights

LED shop lights also have a huge variety just like any other LED lighting solution with every kind serving a unique purpose. We are presenting the top three LED shop light options below from which you can choose the perfect one for your area.

4 ft Shop Lights

led ufo

This LED shop light variety is the most preferable one. You can pick the 4 feet Integrated LED shop lights for spaces like storerooms, retail stores, and warehouses.

You can either mount these lights from the ceiling directly or suspend them with chains for low lighting. This may be the best LED style to choose for replacing fluorescent shop lights.

You can choose from a range of 100-277V lights and linkable LED shop lights.

Hardwired Shop Lights

This variety of LED shop lights serves the purpose of bright and general lighting in workspaces. These can be connected with hardwired fixtures via j-box connections.

We provide plug-in models of LED shop lights too that are easy to install as you can plug them directly into any electrical box. Two options of 100-277V and 277-480V are available.

8 ft Shop Lights

led linear high bay fixture for warehouses

These LED shop lights are much similar to the first variety only with a bigger length of 8 feet. These Integrated LED strip lights serve general lighting purposes for even bigger areas.

You can replace your 8’ fluorescent bulbs with LED shop lights for better lumen outputs and shinier luminance.

The other benefits of doing so would include higher efficiency of lights and more savings on power bills.

7 Important Factors to Consider While Buying LED Shop Lights

1. What Efficacy (Lumens Per Watt) do you need?

Efficacy defines a light’s ability to produce a certain amount of light. LED shop lights are available in a range between 100 and 180 lumens / watt. The higher the efficacy (lumens / watt), the fewer watts the fixture needs to consume to produce the necessary light levels.

While the initial cost of an LED light with a high efficacy rating may be slightly higher, the payback period and reduced utility bill will more than offset this negligible additional cost. 

If one of your primary concerns about switching to LED shop lights is the ability to find a light that’s as bright as your current ones, have no fear.

Generally speaking, LEDs have a much, much higher efficacy rating than other bulbs, so even if the wattage is less than the fixture you have now, the light will be significantly brighter.

Our selection of LED Shop lights ranges from 3000 lumens to 100,000 lumens per light, so you can replace any light with something just as bright, if not brighter. 

Higher efficacy LEDs will save you more money. Over the life of a product, the higher efficiency product will be the best choice. The higher cost will pay itself off and back many times over during its lifespan.

2. What are Wet Location (IP rated) Shop Fixtures?

IP rating designates a fixtures ability to keep out both dust and water. Unlike a wet-rating, an IP rating provides specific grades of water resistance so that you can be positive you’re making the right decision. The first digit of the IP score represents dust protection, while the second number signifies water protection.

LED Lighting Supply offers IP ratings of IPx5 and IPx6. This allows you to install these fixtures outdoors, exposed to the elements, if required. So if you need wet rated LED Shop lights, choose a light that is IP65 or higher.

  • IP68 is for full, permanent submersion in water up to 13 feet.
  • IP67 is for temporary underwater submersion – limited to 3 feet deep – for no longer than 30 minutes.
  • IP65 protects against water jets at any angle.

3. What is the highest voltage I can get a shop light in?

High voltage fixtures are designed to mitigate energy usage over a long distance. This makes them especially helpful in large areas where a light is far from the power source.

The constant current drivers that we carry are equipped to handle everything from 100 Volts up to 480 Volts.

For reference, a standard driver in our kits can handle anywhere from 100V to 277V. If you’re concerned about high voltage capacities, double-check with the manufacturer to ensure that the light will suit your needs.

4. What Kelvin Color Temperature should you choose?

Color temperature is a definition of the color appearance of light. Most white light produced by light sources has a limited amounts of other non-white colors.

    • Warm white light colors have a yellow / red / orange glow.
    • Cool white lights have a blue tint to them.
    • Between cool light and warm light lies daylight white, the most popular of all light colors.

Finding The Right Color Temperature for lighting your shop

As you can see, LEDs come in a wide range of color temperatures. Which color is best for you will depend on the application. However, generally in working environments, a blue-toned light is better, while warmed toned lights work best for ambient lighting needs. 

    • If you are replacing Metal Halide and want a similar look, choose 5000K.
    • To find something slightly warmer, look for a fixture that has 4000K.
    • Stay away from anything over 5500K, which may be too bright, or less than 4000K, which is likely, not adequate.
light color temperature

5. What Is The Ideal Color Rendering Index (CRI) For Shop Lights?

Unlike Kelvins, the Color Rendering Index doesn’t disclose the color of a light, but rather how colors under that light will appear compared to sunlight.

When it comes to HID lamps and fluorescent fixtures, people often find that it’s hard to determine the true color of objects. Light color is extremely important in low bay fixtures, like LED shop lights because it has a huge impact on clarity and contrast.

Picking the ideal CRI

The typical CRI range of LEDs is 70-85. You can request custom CRI lights with us. However, a 70 CRI light can serve almost all general lighting needs.

Get high CRI lights of 80-90+ range if you want higher color identification in your area.

light bulbs cri

6. How can you get Optimal and Balanced Light Distribution?

Well, the easiest way to do this is to use a photometric lighting plan. But, it’s always a good idea to have some base knowledge about light distribution. The beam angle of a fixture is what determines the distribution of light. 

A wide beam angle produces a better light distribution than a narrow focused beam angle. This is ideal for large interior spaces, low ceiling mounts and general lighting.

A narrow beam angle produces tighter, concentrated light. Its a good solution for higher ceiling mounts, and task lighting.

For lower ceiling applications, like garages and workshops, we recommend a wide beam distribution to offset the lower ceiling mounting heights and adequately cover the area.

7. Do you need Lighting Controls like Motion Sensors?

Need may be a strong word, but any business would benefit from the addition of lighting controls. According to Energy Star, waste accounts for 30% of all energy utilized in buildings.

Light systems can help enhance energy-saving measures through specialized light control features. Light controls can also increase security while simultaneously enhancing the comfort of the building’s occupants. 

Just switching to LED shop lights can help save up to 80% in energy costs but light controls can  help cut down on energy wastage even further, giving you more savings. Use light controls to enhance energy efficiency and control of the lighting.

Workshop LEd lighting

Light Control Features

Daylight sensors, motion sensors, dimmers, and wireless technology are just a few of the light controls available.

Motion sensors ensure that your lights are never in use when they’re not needed and help to cut back on electrical costs by only turning the lights on when movement is detected.

The addition of photocells allow a light fixture to read daylight levels, turning the light on only when it’s too dark. And, dimmers allow you to control the intensity of the light. Which in turn provides you with the ability to actively reduce the light’s energy consumption. 

There is a minimal cost associated with installing motion sensors, dimmers, and photocells, but you’ll see payback immediately. And, these controls also help to further extend the life of your LED shop lights. 

If you need a control, then you may need a 0-10V dimmable LED driver that works in coordination with your control. For example, some motion sensors can dim the light after a period of inactivity. To do so, the led driver must be capable of dimming. Not all LED drivers are dimmable.


What is the best lighting for a shop?

To decide the best lighting depends upon the layout and condition of your settings. If the area has high ceilings, high bay lights would be good. For dusty areas, vapor tight lights will suit. Can’t choose between LEDs and Fluorescent?

LEDs are better with zero maintenance needs and less power consumption. Let us help you with deciding the best lights for your shop.

What are the best LED Shop lights?

The answer to this can’t be definite. The different needs of people impact the idea of the best light. Similarly, one lighting best for one customer may not be the same for another one. You may even have to arrange a specific light for a particular condition.

All of this depends upon mounting height, heat, distribution, and lighting levels. Consider hazard risk factors too!

We offer the best help for choosing the ideal LED shop lights as per your need. Take our guidance for this purpose and you won’t regret it.

What is the brightest LED Shop Light?

The brightest LED High Bay lights are used in shops most commonly. These lights are the best replacement for 1000W Metal Halides. However, you may not like your shop to have harsh illumination. For enough lighting in your shop to facilitate precision tasks, 50 or more foot-candles would be good.

Are LED Shop Lights worth it?

You may find the initial cost price of LED shop lights higher than the other bulbs but all that investment will be covered with the savings you will make on power bills and maintenance costs. LEDs give very high-quality lights (high CRI) making shops safer and brightly lit. Thus, LEDs are a must a try!

How many Lights do I need for my shop?

The best option is to get a lighting plan made with the unique lighting software if you want to have an accurate lighting plan. These lighting plans take into consideration the important building dimensions. We at the LED Lighting Supply possess the expertise for forming these layouts. You can install a light meter app on your smartphone or get a physical light meter.

Now, visit all the spots in the target area and keep recording the light level readings in lux or foot-candles. Give those readings to us and how well you find the lighting in the tested areas to be bright enough or too dim. Take the uniformity of light distribution into consideration too. We will use this info to test-run the target space in the lighting software and come up with the lighting options. This is our free of cost service. Get the best LED risk-free!

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